At the General Audience the Pope speaks of the “little Pentecost” told by St Luke in the Acts of the Apostles
A Church that prays
A thank you for the best wishes on his birthday and 7th anniversary of election
A miracle. This is what happens when believers, tested because of their faith, find themselves united in prayer “like one person” to invoke the Lord's help. This “praying all together, in unity” is, as the Pope stated at the General Audience this morning, Wednesday, 18 April, “the fundamental element of the first community and should always be fundamental to the Church”. Benedict XVI, proposing once again a catechesis on prayer during the weekly encounter with the faithful, recalled the “little Pentecost” — as the prayer of the Apostles is called, told by St Luke in a difficult time in the early Church — to underline the importance of prayer in the life of the difficult times of the Church. In the face of danger and of threats, analysing and creating strategies on how to defend oneself or how to react are not necessary, rather one must pray with others and contact God. Thus the unity of the Church, rather than being jeopardized, is strengthened “because” the Pontiff explained, “she is sustained by steadfast prayer”. The Church, therefore, “shall not fear persecution, which through history she has been subjected to, but she must always rely on, like Jesus in Gethsemane, the presence, the help and the strength of God”.
At the General Audience various groups of the faithful renewed their best wishes to the Pope on his 85th birthday, celebrated on Monday, 16 April, and on the anniversary of his election to the Chair of St Peter. A special wish came from several groups in traditional Bavarian dress and from other regions of Germany. Benedict XVI, in conclusion, sincerely gave thanks for the warm expressions of affection for the days of celebration.
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